The "beloved" peacock, named Merlin, lived at the Utica Zoo in Utica, New York, for 13 years
A white peacock at the Utica Zoo in Utica, New York, has died after flying into the zoo’s lion habitat.
The zoo staff shared the sad news in a Facebook post on Wednesday, writing that the “beloved” bird would be “dearly missed by everyone at the zoo.”
The peacock, named Merlin, was roaming around the zoo’s grounds on Wednesday morning when he flew over the perimeter fence surrounding the African lion habitat.
Merlin then “encountered the lions who were on exhibit at the time,” the post read. “He was unable to fly out of the exhibit and was captured by a lion.”
Despite the zoo staff’s “rapid response” following the incident, the peacock didn’t survive.
Zoo workers quickly intervened to prevent the lions from displaying “potential aggressive behavior towards each other,” the post continued, adding that “at no time were visitors, staff, or the general public placed into harm’s way.”
According to the post, Merlin had been living at the zoo for 13 years, spending his days happily “roaming the grounds.”
“He was regularly seen window shopping in front of the gift shop, relaxing in bamboo gardens, or calling out to his companions from high within the treetops,” the post read.
“He was a visitor favorite; displaying his pure white plumage for all to see,” the tribute continued. “His distinct white feathers could be seen around the zoo, providing an unexpected souvenir for visitors.”